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Saturday, March 02, 2024  
21 Shaban 1445  

Afghan strain of poliovirus detected in Peshawar, Dera Bugti samples

Viruses, found in sewage samples, are similar to Afghanistan's polio virus.
Stock image.
Stock image.

The environmental samples collected from Peshawar city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and Dera Bugti district in Balochistan have tested positive for wild polio virus on Friday.

According to an official at the polio laboratory of the National Institute of Health (NIH), both viruses, found in sewage samples, are similar to Afghanistan’s polio virus.

Polio, a highly infectious and incurable disease, mainly affects children under the age of five. The virus invades the nervous system and can cause paralysis or even death in some cases.

Third polio case of the year 2023 was confirmed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) Bannu district on Wednesday as Pakistan struggling to get rid of the crippling disease, ARY News reported citing sources at the Ministry of National Health.

Polio virus has been confirmed in an 18-month girl at UC Ghora in Bakakhel, sources added.

In the year 2022, as many as 20 cases of poliovirus were reported across the country. Pakistan was come near to eradication of disease in year 2021 when only one case was reported in the country.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Monday launched a five-day anti-polio vaccination drive targeting around 44 million children across the country.

Speaking on the occasion, he said 350,000 polio workers would participate in the drive to administer anti-polio vaccine to 44 million children aged 0-5 years.

Pakistan registered two polio cases earlier since January, a blow to the goal of eradicating a disease that affects the nervous system and can cause severe paralysis in children.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only two countries in the world where polio continues to threaten the health and well-being of children.

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